BMW Oracle in Marseille

Major presence for Larry Ellison's team on USA 17 and Artemis

Monday June 2nd 2008, Author: Jane Eagleson, Location: United Kingdom
The debut of BMW Oracle Racing’s USA 17 comes tomorrow when the team races its new TP 52 for the first time here.

Competing for the City of Marseille Trophy at the second stop on the Audi Med Cup Circuit, the USA-flagged race boat will have team owner Larry Ellison at the helm with team skipper Russell Coutts calling tactics. James Spithill is the strategist and Michele Ivaldi navigator. The all-BMW Oracle Racing crew comes straight from the RC 44 Austria Cup which concluded yesterday.

Another ten BMW Oracle Racing team members will join Torbjorn Tornqvist on board the TP 52 Artemis. John Kostecki will call tactics and will be joined by nine other BMW Oracle team members.

“We have not had much of an opportunity to train on USA 17 and we expect to face a tough fleet of competitors here,” said Spithill. “We should see improvement as the week goes on and we get more comfortable with the boat.”

The TP program is one facet of a busy sailing schedule for BMW Oracle Racing that includes multihull training and the RC 44 circuit. Many of the team also competed at the RC 44 Austria Cup on Lake Traunsee. Spithill won both the match racing and the fleet racing events in Austria.

“We will take the Med Cup circuit one regatta at a time as our priority is to prepare for the 33rd America’s Cup,” Spithill said. “But the more we put ourselves in a competitive environment, the better it is for us.”

USA 17 crew: Alan Smith, bow, (NZL); Max Sirena, mid-bow, (ITA); Gilberto Nobili, grinder (ITA); Simone de Mari, pit; (ITA); Brian MacInnes, primary grind, (CAN); Grant Davidson, primary grinder, (NZL); Daniel Fong, Downwind Trimmer, (NZL); Dimitri Despierres, Upwind Trimmer, (FRA); Ian Burns, Main Assist (AUS); Dirk de Ridder, Mainsheet trimmer, (NED); James Spithill, strategist, (AUS); Michele Ivaldi, Navigator, (ITA); Russell Coutts, tactician, (NZL); Larry Ellison, helmsman, (USA).
Oracle Racing team competing with Artemis: John Kostecki, tactician, (USA); Matteo Plazzi, navigator (ITA); Noel Drennan, mainsheet (IRL); Ross Halcrow, Upwind Trimmer, (NZL); Juan Meseguer, Downwind Trimmer (ESP); Jonathan Macbeth, Main Grinder, (NZL); Joe Spooner, Primary Grinder, (NZL); Jared Henderson, Pit, (NZL); Bryce Ruthenberg, mid-bow, (AUS) and Alberto Barovier, mid-bow (ITA).

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